My life has been full of hellos and goodbyes. Especially over the last five years. Some goodbyes more traumatic than others. I’ve noticed that the more I open my heart, the more emotions I feel when it’s time to say goodbye.
Today was my last full day in Mexico City. I have come to care for the people I have met here. No matter that it’s only been two weeks. Our little group of four missionaries and Tere, our director, have become close. And here I am saying goodbye again and feeling the sadness of separation. Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Last night Sr. Carmelita, my spiritual companion while I’ve been here and a sweet and compassionate soul, shared photos from her three years serving in Mongu in Zambia. The dark faces of the children, eyes shining with wonder and joy, captured me. When Sr. Carmelita expressed how sad she felt to leave them, I understood.
How could she feel otherwise? She had opened her heart and loved them. But now she was needed somewhere else.
And that’s the life of a missionary, too. You open your heart and let them all in. And then after a while, you move on.
So you learn to make your heart your home. A good friend told me recently that that’s what I am learning to do. I hope I am. And I hope that, like Sr. Carmelita, my internal home will be overflowing with all the people I have taken in. With tears and joy and everything in between.
So, as I say goodbye, I’d like to share some photos of my temporary physical home with the sisters here in San Angel, Mexico City, with love:
Above photos are some scenes on the convent grounds.and below, around town.